Why did we start the Women in Physics club at UC Irvine?
The Department of Commerce’s Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation (August 2011) revealed that women represent a mere 24 percent of the STEM workforce. This gender gap situation is unfortunately present also in our Department of Physics & Astronomy, where women make up a little bit less than 20% of the graduate students. A similar percentage is found also among the faculty staff. Post-docs seem to have a better percentage, with a 38% presence of women. The Women in Physics and Astronomy Club arranges multiple social events each quarter in order to create a supportive environment for females within the department. We also assist in outreach activities for younger (K-12) students to educate and encourage the next generation of women scientists.
The UCI Women in Physics also organize and run a mentoring program pairing up undergraduate student mentees with grad student/postdoc mentors. We aim to decrease the attrition rate of female physics majors while providing a supportive community.
Mu Chun Chen
Coral Wheeler, Liuyi (Ye) Pei, Anna Kwa, Meghan Frate
Laura Innes, Giada Carminati, Annika Peter